One of the troubles that many of us in Zim face is that we tend to use a lot second-hand and entry-level smartphones. These devices are usually not best equipped to deal with the latest and greatest apps as their ageing hardware tends to struggle to cope with the demands of these apps. This has meant that big companies have been adapting their apps and churning out lite versions and these are meant to cater to these devices.
This means if you’ve some storage issues, not enough RAM or simply not enough processing power or even a phone that only connects to 2G and 3G networks you can still get to use these popular services. Facebook has a lite app. LinkedIn has a lite app and even Skype has a lite app if we are just mentioning a few.
Not many of us (me included) are still using Skype because of WhatsApp video calls but in terms of “professional video calls,” I’m yet to hear of people using WhatsApp. Maybe it’s because of the reputation of WhatsApp but usually, people use Google Hangouts and Skype instead. Those two are dependable companions and Skype Lite caters for those devices that are not exactly at the cutting edge of technology.
So by installing Skype Lite what are you getting?
Well, apparently not much in terms of storage savings? The Skype Lite app took up 51.66 MB which is quite sizeable when compared to the typical storage on entry level devices. In comparison, LinkedIn Lite takes up around 15MB and Messenger Lite is about 6 MB. Of course, these are different applications but if you were going in under impression that you would be able to install this without adding on to your storage woes you’re in the wrong place. The full Skype uses up 71 MB after installing so you still have the better chance of getting the Lite version on your phone if storage is your biggest issue.
We didn’t test this on a 3G network but the whole idea with Lite apps is that they are supposed to work even on networks that are not so great. We have plenty of those network inconsistencies here and I’m sure it will save a few people.
In terms of video call quality; I have no complaints. I don’t have the full Skype app so I wasn’t comparing with that but looked just a tad better than WhatsApp video calls which have generally looked quite crappy when I’ve tried them.
There are also data saving features compared to the full version of Skype. The Lite app has an image compression system and a data saving mode which then allows you to actually monitor your data in the sidebar of the app
The Skype application is still in Beta which means you may run into some errors and bugs and the experience won’t be as refined as the one you get in the full version.
If you are not able to receive Skype conference calls or conduct meetings over Skype let it not be because the application was too heavy for your phone. I think this lite version allows you to enjoy most of the crucial functionality offered by Skype without putting its foot on your phones low storage, RAM or processing power.
P.S Skype Lite is not available for iOS. iPhone users do not do data savings and all that. They’re rich